How To Join the Army National Guard

If you are considering a career with the Army National Guard, there are a few things you will have to take into consideration. Certain requirements will have to be met before you can even apply for service.  It is also important to understand the risks associated with military service, especially in today's world with the war in the Middle East.  As long as you have thought through your choice to become a soldier in the Army National Guard, then you will be going into your service with the knowledge that you have made the right choice.

What are the requirements?

  • First, to join any branch of the military you must be 18 years old.  If you are 17 years old, it is still possible to sign up with the National Guard, but you will have to have your parent or guardian's written permission.  You must either be a senior in high school, have a high school diploma, or your GED.
  • You will have to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery; or ASVAB.  The ASVAB is a multiple choice exam that will assess your basic math, reading, and language skills.  In order to join the Army National Guard, you will have to meet the minimum score required.  Not only does this test determine your eligibility, but your score will also decide which career field you are eligible for within the military.  It is crucial that you do your best on this test.  There are many study guides available on the Internet, and your local recruiter can give you other resources.
  • To serve in the Army National Guard, you will need to be in excellent physical condition.  If you have any major handicaps, you will most likely be denied entrance.  Serving in the Armed Forces is a very physically demanding job. You are sometimes required to spend several nights to several weeks outside in the elements for different training actions. You will have to attend basic training before you serve with your unit, and if you are not in shape, you will have a hard time.  If you are overweight or think you will not be able to pass the basic physical training (PT) test, then you should discuss this with your recruiter.  They are used to helping people get in shape for basic.  They can work with you on an exercise and nutrition plan to help you meet your goals.

What will I do?

What is the purpose of the Army National Guard?  As a member of the National Guard, your primary job will be assisting your state in the event of national disasters or border control.  One important thing to keep in mind - you may be called to federal service to support any mission overseas.  The role of the Army National Guard has gone beyond one weekend a month and two weeks every summer.  There is a chance that you may be called to serve a tour in another country for 12 months or more.


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